What do your cravings really mean?

Having cravings can often be a sign that you are deficient in a certain nutrient. Therefore, instead of giving into your cravings all the time, you should look into addressing the root cause.

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Here are some of the most common cravings that people have, what they mean, and how to address them naturally.

1. Chocolate

  • Deficiency: Magnesium
  • Why its important: A deficiency in magnesium can lead to many problems in the body, such as insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, muscle spasms, headaches, and fatigue.
  • How to fix it: Eat foods high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy greens. Avoid refined foods, and eat more fermented foods.
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Dragonfruit acai bowl and a side salad

2. Red Meat

  • Deficiency: Iron or protein
  • Why its important: Iron carries oxygen to our lungs, and helps our muscles use oxygen. Signs of an iron deficiency include fatigue, cold hands/feet, paleness, brittle nails, and hair loss. It can also mean the body may need more protein. If you are doing lots of exercise, it is important to try to have high quality protein 30 minutes after completing a workout to ensure your muscles get replenished.
  • How to fix it: High quality red meat (farm fresh), oysters, sardines, beans, beets, squash, raw spinach are all high in iron. Also, Vitamin C rich foods such as tomatoes, or berries help with iron absorption.
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Paleo chicken salad and beet juice

3. Sugar

  • What it means: Blood sugar level flunctuations
  • Why its important: When our blood sugar gets low, this can cause mood swings, bouts of hyperactivity, and fatigue. Many of us are very sensitive to sugar, so when we ingest a high amount, it causes blood sugar levels to rise very quickly. Eating a high amount of sugar causes us to release insulin, which in turn leads to fat gain. 
  • How to fix it: Eating more high fiber foods such as vegetables and nuts, as well as healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, or clarified butter. Healthy fats keep you fuller for longer, and make you less likely to crave sugar throughout the day.
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Zucchini noodles, sauerkraut, carrots, avocado

4. Salty foods

  • What it means: Stress hormone fluctuations
  • Why its important: Craving salty foods may mean you’re stressed out, and this has to do with our adrenals. Adrenal fatigue can be caused by  emotional stress, poor sleep, and chemicals or pollutants.
  • How to fix it: Exercise often to let off some steam, and if you are very stressed out, take some time off to relax. Use high quality pink sea salt (Himalayan salt) instead of table salt, because it has beneficial minerals. I have a post about all the benefits of this special salt. Try to get to bed on time, and use organic cleaning products instead of conventional ones in your home.
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Grapefruit juice, pesto noodles with flax seed crackers

5. Cheese/fried foods

  • Deficiency: Fatty acids or calcium
  • Why its important: Calcium deficiency can lead to bone fractures, toothache, and a weakened immune system. Fatty acids are very important for hormone regulation, healthy skin and hair, and immune response and liver function. The body cannot make fatty acids on it’s own, so it is critical to ingest them often.
  • How to fix it: Fatty acid rich foods such as seafood, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts.
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Baked sweet potato, and baked salmon over a bed of greens

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